Cairo: Having worked hard to fulfil a childhood dream, Reem Filmban has eventually become the first Saudi female to pilot a helicopter and one of the world’s youngest pilots in the field.
Since her early years, Reem dream of flying and piloting aircraft, a passion that galvanised her into watching documentaries about aviation and plane piloting.
“I felt excited, enthusiastic and motivated to fulfil my wish of becoming an air pilot one day,” she told Saudi news portal Sabq.
After she obtained a high school degree in Saudi Arabia, Reem travelled to the US, pursuing studies on aviation and getting a piloting licence.
“I spent one year in studies and training. This differs from one person to another. The weather also plays a role in the duration of training and studies. If the weather is fine, I can fly,” she said, adding that she had flew for 255 hours during that year.
Reem contended women can also do a piloting job like men and urged girls with a passion for aviation to pursue it for a career.
“The field is very fine and has a lot of challenges and difficulties.”
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has ramped up efforts to empower women in different walks of life as part of dramatic changes in the kingdom.
In 2018, the kingdom allowed women to drive for the first time in its history, ending a decades-old ban on female driving.
Two female ambassadors were among 11 Saudi envoys, who took the oath of office before King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in January.